Monday, March 31, 2008


My friend and neighbor down the street has some beautiful hydrangeas planted in pots outside her home.

I have a horrible time remembering what the name of them are, and usually go through delphinium and hyacinth before hydrangea finally hits me. I had to use Wikipedia to remind me.

At the bottom of the Wiki entry for hydrangea was a warning on their poisonous nature.

"Hydrangeas are moderately toxic if eaten, with all parts of the plant containing cyanogenic glycosides. However, poisoning is rare, as the plant does not look like an enticing food source."

Whomever wrote that has obviously never had a toddler.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Fun with Flair

I'm too old to be messing around on Facebook, but it's a nice, mindless time-waster.

I had fun looking through the virtual buttons on the Flair application.

My favorites:
some are hard to read! The top middle says, "I sing for the one who gave me my song." The black one next to it says, "I can't...I have rehearsal." Seems like I'm always missing moms' night out because of worship team rehearsals on Thursdays...but that's ok! :-)
The blue one below "I scrapbook" says, "they don't know that we know they know we know."
The music note one says, "What have I done?" The one next to that says, "If my daughter is the Princess, that makes me the QUEEN!" Below "Save the tatas" is "You're a great friend but if the zombies chase us I'm tripping you." The green one says, "Well, that's not a good sign." The blue one with an angry face says "I judge you when you use poor grammar." The one with the ducks says, "I had plastic surgery done."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wii have a fever

For well over a year now, I have not understood all of the hype surrounding the Wii gaming system.

Until last night.

A month or so ago, we invited a couple of our friends over for dinner last night. My parents just so happened to be driving back home from their spring break trip to Oklahoma and wanted to stop and spend the night with us to visit. So we had a house full of guests. We had fajitas, chips, and salsa from Chili's, and beans and rice from a local Mexican restaurant down the street from where we live, and homemade guacamole. Oh, and slushy bucket margaritas made using the On The Border bucket margarita mix with Jose Cuervo Gold tequila (see my previous post about Mommy of the Year!). And after dinner, my parents offered to bring in their brand new Wii that they picked up at a WalMart in a small town near where they were staying. There were fourteen in stock; B and I keep joking about driving up there to pick one up. Anyway, the six of us had a BLAST just creating our Miis - lots of laughter ensued. And then we played the bowling game right in the comfort of our own living room! It was a LOT of fun and now we want one to entertain ourselves!

After two rounds of bowling, our dinner guests had to go home. After they left, my mom and I started playing the Wii Play games trying to get to the Cow Racing portion. It's the second-to-the-last game on the disc, and you HAVE to play the first seven games in order to get to the Cow Racing game (which by FAR is the best game on the disc). The most annoying and hard-to-learn game was the billiards one. It took Mom and I for-EV-ER to get through that one.

And then when we went to play today, we found ourselves having to go through all of the games AGAIN! GRRRR! The billiards game went a little faster this time, but it was still aggravating.

Mommy of the Year Award

Goes to ME, for hauling my kid into the liquor store yesterday to buy a bottle of tequila.

When we go shopping in other places I am always talking to her about what's on the shelves, you know, "Oh, see the pretty vases? Look, there's a red one, and a yellow one..." etc. There is nothing quite like saying, "Oh, look at the pretty bottles," to your 15-month-old in a liquor store!

Hey, it was better than leaving her in the car!

And apparently they have lots of kids come in there with their parents - enough to warrant a big bowl of Dum Dum suckers behind the counter! The guy asked me, "She's too young for a lollipop, probably."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

She's Gone

This is not going to be the most uplifting blog entry I've written. You won't hurt my feelings if you don't read or don't finish.

My friend Dottie lost her battle with breast cancer last Wednesday. I've put off writing about it, partially because I don't have any photos of my own of her on this computer. Dumb, but that's my excuse. I'd known Dottie for a little over or under 10 years. We met on a scrapbooking newsgroup way back in 1998 or 1999. In 2000, I met her in person at a weekend scrapbooking retreat for the aforementioned newsgroup. She was an amazing person, full of life and laughter and fun, and she called a spade a spade with no qualms or apologies. We kept in touch via email over the last 10 years, and I'd been praying fervently for her healing. She got the Ultimate Healing and has no more pain or sorrow, as she is in the presence of the Lord.

On Saturday, just four days before Dottie passed away, my great-aunt Leota went home to the Lord. She had had a stroke several years before, and her health had declined from there. She weighed just 60 pounds when she died. She was a tiny person anyway, but 60 pounds still wasn't healthy for her. Bless her heart! I tried to be good in the last few years about writing her letters and sending her photos, but never sent as many as I would have liked. You know, the shoulda, woulda, coulda guilt complex!

And then I started thinking, you know, I have lost a LOT of family members in my lifetime. I still have some friends who have not yet had to deal with the death of anyone close to them. I'm no stranger to that. This is going to be weird, but I thought I'd catalog all of the family members I've said goodbye, or rather, see you later, to over the years.

My first loss was either my great-grandmother or my great-grandfather; I can't recall which. I think it was MawMaw but I am not sure. Anyway, she died when I was really young, maybe 5? Her husband died shortly thereafter, I think. I was really young so the details are pretty hazy.

These dates may not be the most accurate. I know both of my step-dad's parents passed when I was in either middle school or high school. I can't remember the exact years (sorry!). My dad's mom died when I was a freshman in high school. My dad's dad (well, his step-dad, as his biological father died when my dad was 9) died in 1993 when I was a freshman in college. In 1994, my then-sister-in-law gave birth to a premature baby, Kevin Blake, who died 13 days later. It was the hardest funeral I'd ever attended. Until then, only old people had died in my life, and this just wasn't right!!! Babies aren't supposed to die!!! My mom's best friend died from cancer in February of 1994 in her late 30s. Another difficult death for me - she left behind a great husband and two sweet boys. She herself was a really sweet woman. I attended a funeral in 1997 for my sister's friend, who drowned. That also sucked - he was a senior and had his whole life ahead of him. My aunt (my mom's sister) died in August (?) of 1998. My grandmother (mom's mom) died in September of 1999. In December of 2001, I lost my dad. It sucks a lot to lose a parent, even if you don't have the greatest relationship with them. My great-uncle Doug (my maternal grandfather's brother) died in 2002, I think, then his brother Jimmy (Aunt Leota's husband) died in 2003, as did my cousin TJ - another rough death - he was my age (!!!) and a week or so later, my dad's brother Ray died. Then in February of 2005, my Popa, my mom's dad, died. That was another hard one for me, he was my last living grandparent. In early 2007 Brad's uncle died, and then in late 2007, his grandmother passed away. And that brings me to the two most recent deaths already mentioned at the beginning of this post.

I think there have been some other deaths on my dad's side of the family, but I can't recall who at the moment.

So here's the neat thing...I know they all are in heaven and that I will see them all again some day! That is pretty exciting. And that's what gets me through the rough times.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I need an eye exam

Our new couches arrived on Tuesday. I finally got around to removing the hanging tags from them today. One of the tags is a "WARNING: FLAMMABLE" tag. I really need my eyes examined, because I thought bullet point number 3 said, "Keep children away from machetes and lighters." It says "matches," but machetes is much funnier. I suppose I should return Nyssa's Easter gift back to Machetes R Us!

For some reason, the name "TAMMY" is stamped on the WARNING:FLAMMABLE tag. I'm not sure why. It doesn't say, "Inspected by," or "For a good time, call" or anything.

Junk mail amuses me. Pizza Hut's latest flyer is advertising "The Natural." It has a multi-grain crust, sauce made from organic tomatoes, and (this is the one that gets me) ALL-NATURAL mozzarella cheese. That scares me a little. I mean, what is the mozzarella cheese on their regular, non-all-natural, pizzas made from, if it's not ALL NATURAL??? What does unnatural cheese look like? Actually, I think I know the answer to that one - it's in the form of veggie cheese slices made from tofu. I'm not knocking tofu products masquerading as dairy products, in fact, I am a big fan of the Tofutti products, specifically the Cuties (ice "cream" sandwiches), and the Better than Cream Cheese and Better than Sour Cream dairy substitutes. But veggie cheese still strikes me as unnatural.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Kids' songs? And other ramblings...

One of N's favorite toys is a pull-along ladybug that sings lots and LOTS of songs. Most really are great kids' songs, but it seems to be playing Little Brown Jug from time to time.

I looked up the lyrics and the first page the search engine returned was the following:

I was very, very amused by their disclaimer. "Important! This is a fun song to sing, but the message is about a man and his wife who had a lot of hard times because of alcohol addictions. Remember, drinking excessively is not good for your health and could lead to serious problems and addictions. In fact, addictions of all types can be very serious health concerns. " And then it went on to list several kid-related anti-drug/alcohol websites.

On another totally unrelated note, I was going through coupon circulars and ran across an ad for an optical illusion swimsuit. The company claims that it can make you look up to four sizes smaller, and up to 40 lbs. thinner. The concept is pretty easy to buy, since the front and back panels are solid colors in an hourglass shape, and the sides are a zebra pattern. I'm totally convinced I should order at least one
after reviewing the before and after illustration in the lower left-hand corner of the ad:

Friday, March 07, 2008

Falling from Grace

I grew up attending a church of Christ church. I had heard many sermons that seemed to imply that you could lose your salvation. I was horribly conflicted throughout college, and wrote down quite a few scriptures in my prayer journal that convinced me that my salvation could not be lost. But I was never able to fully understand or reconcile in my mind what the Bible meant when it talked about falling from grace.

And then in church last Sunday, our pastor made an amazing analogy that felt like God gently thumped me on the forehead and said, "There ya go! Get it now?" In a kind and loving way, of course! The really amusing thing to me is that B had the same realization at exactly the same moment I did. We just looked at each other and went, "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!" As in, we get it now!

So the analogy was this (Forgive me, PG, if I slaughter the story!)...imagine you are riding on a 767 jet airplane. The plane takes off and climbs until it reaches its cruising altitude of 37,000 feet. And at that moment you decide that you can fly the rest of the journey to your destination on your own, so you open the door to the airplane and jump out.

Do you fly safely to your journey? NO! You fall like a sack of rocks straight to the earth.

Falling from grace is when we stop looking to God for everything, and start looking to ourselves for our salvation. If I'm just GOOD enough, I'll get to heaven. We aren't living by the grace of God any longer, we are trying to live by good works. And if you believe that the Bible is the inerrant and infallible word of God, you know that you cannot save yourself just by being a good person. We can't save ourselves, we needed a saviour and that is why Jesus came to the earth. Salvation is a gift that we simply accept. Yes, it is THAT easy! We admit we are sinners in need of a saviour, and we accept the gift of life that Jesus provides through his death on the cross and resurrection three days later. And then we spend the rest of our lives trying (and failing, and trying again and failing again because we are fallen, imperfect beings, hence the need for a saviour in the first place!) to live according to how God wants us to live, because we greatly appreciate the gift of eternal life He has given us and we want to be pleasing to Him.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Church Ramblings

An interesting thing happened today at church.

We had just finished singing "Grace Flows Down," when the center doors at the back of the church opened. Into the sanctuary walked a man who had long hair pulled back into a ponytail, and who was wearing a skirt. The entire congregation turned to look at the man. They continued to stare as he walked up the center aisle. He finally stopped at the very front of the church. He paused for a moment, then ascended the steps onto the stage.

Well, ok, so the skirt was a kilt, and the man was carrying a bagpipe, playing "Amazing Grace," and it wasn't shocking to us since we'd been told since rehearsal last Thursday that there would be a bagpipe player on this Sunday. It was actually very, very cool! Most of the folks in the congregation were surprised, though.

And it's not to say that our church wouldn't be welcoming if some random skirt-wearing, long-hair-having, man (or woman) did walk into the church and straight up the aisle to the front of the sanctuary.